Every aspiring pilot who plans to tie their career to aviation aims for a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), serving as the door to the dream job at an airline. However, suppose you ask two pilots working as the First Officers about their academic background. In that case, you might find out that they had been taking two absolutely different ways until they got employed by an airline.
So similar, yet so different
While reviewing the available training options, you will come across the following terms: an Integrated ATPL course and a cadet program. You can enroll in any of these two if you have little or no piloting experience and kickstart your aviation journey. Regardless of the program choice you will make, you will be learning ATPL theory, Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC), and Upset Prevention & Recovery Training (UPRT) – fundamental prerequisites for joining the airline world. After about two years or less, you will be a proud owner of a CPL. So, what’s the difference then if both ways lead to conducting passenger flights someday? There are quite a few.
What’s precisely so different?
The SmartLynx cadet program gives you a rough idea about where you will eventually “land” after throwing so much effort into training – the name “SmartLynx” is there not coincidentally. Pilot cadet programs are built on the idea of first choosing the future employer and only then getting to studies to be eligible for starting a career there (sounds like a particularly convenient variant, doesn’t it?). A typical sequence of events would be the following:
- You happen to see an open admission to a SmartLynx cadet program offered by BAA Training and developed commonly by SmartLynx and the flight academy.
- Aiming to find out more, you do your research about SmartLynx and consult with BAA Training, which gladly provides you with more information.
- Once you are ready to move to action, you take the assessment through Aon’s Aviation Suite and perform a semi-structural interview as well as a final interview with SmartLynx.
Let us come back to the ATPL Integrated now. Read the above bullet points once again, omitting the word “SmartLynx,” and you will get the scenario of entering ATPL Integrated. The fact is that pilot cadet programs aim to satisfy an airlines‘ need for highly-trained pilots; therefore, the carrier itself directly or indirectly participates in the processes related to pilot training.
The job at SmartLynx guarantee
Now we have got closer to the critical difference between the ATPL Integrated and SmartLynx cadet program. If you prove to be a suitable candidate during a series of initial assessments, you will get a letter of undertaking from an airline. This letter is your ticket to getting a vacancy at SmartLynx after finishing your training, or, in other words, your job guarantee once you have the CPL in your pocket.
An ATPL Integrated, on the contrary, will not offer you the same level of “predictability.” You will be completing stage after stage instead of going for a “full-pack” right away, like in SmartLynx. A tricky part might be to make up your mind which Type rating to acquire as you are, obviously, unaware, which employer will welcome your candidature in the end.
By committing to SmartLynx from the beginning, you deliberately sign for flying an Airbus A320 or Airbus A321 as this is the type the airline’s fleet consists of (at least for now). As of October 2020, A320 family
aircraft became the highest-selling airliner with 9,053 aircraft in service and 15 582 orders. And what about you? Would you like to fly the most demanded aircraft in the world?